Its not a secret that the restaurant industry is highly competitive. Attracting new customers in an often crowded field can be very challenging. But it is possible to stand out and promote your restaurant without having to spend a fortune on marketing. Here are seven effective, but relatively low cost, ways to get more customers for your restaurant.
Improve Your Yelp Listings
According to a recent study 90% of people say that a positive review impacts whether they buy or not. Furthermore, 72% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation. With statistics like these it easy to see why it is worth investing time in improving your Yelp listings. The easiest way to improve your yelp rating is to check that positive reviews haven’t become filtered out. Yelp uses an automatic algorithm to determine whether they think a review is authentic or not. Reviews that have been filtered out can be found at the bottom of the page. If a review has been filtered out contact the person who left the review and say how much you appreciate their feedback. Then ask if they will update the review. This will often get it out of the filter. Another approach is to follow the yelp user. This is sometimes enough to add credibility to their profile so that the review is allowed. Even getting a few reviews out of the filter can help to lift your overall rating.
SMS marketing is one of the most effective promotional tactics that a restaurant can engage in. According to a study conducted by consultancy Frost and Sullivan 98% of text messages are read. This compares to only 22% of emails and 12% of Facebook posts. One effective way for restaurants to use SMS marketing is to send their customers vouchers and deals. For example, the restaurant could send a text up to their existing customers with the code D1SC0UNT and ask them to bring in the code to receive a 15% discount off their next meal. One of the great things about using a discount code is that you can measure how effective your SMS marketing is.
Create A Recipe Blog
Restaurants have a unique opportunity to use content marketing to promote their business by creating a recipe blog. A good example of this is Williams-Sonoma with their “Taste” blog. This lifestyle / recipe blog provides advice to help people can use their products to make beautiful and delicious meals. Restaurants can use the same concept by creating blog posts around the cuisine that they offer. For example, a Mexican restaurant could offer recipes and cooking tips for authentic Mexican dishes.
Have A Mobile Optimized Site
One half of all local searches are now performed on a mobile device. Therefore, if a restaurant does not have a mobile optimised website it is virtually invisible to half of all customers looking online for somewhere to eat. A mobile optimised website will have a menu that is clear and easy to read on a small screen, the ability to call with a single tap of the phone and mobile optimised restaurant booking.
Enlist Local Food Bloggers
Local food bloggers can be some of your best advocates for your restaurant. Local food bloggers love discovering little-known restaurants and undiscovered gems. Often these local food bloggers are highly influential with the “foodie” community. Also having a review on a local food blog is another way for people to find your restaurant when they search on Google. You can even consider becoming an advertiser for their blog to increase your reach with their readers.
Create An E-mail Newsletter
E-mail has some of the highest return on investment of any form of marketing. According to The Power of Direct report, by the Direct Marketing Association every one dollar spent on email marketing provides a return of $41. Creating an email newsletter is a great way to get repeat business and build loyalty with your customers. You can keep customers up-to-date with changes on the menu, specials that you’re running and reward them with a special birthday meal. Run a loyalty program to get people to provide you with their email address.
Distribute Your Menu
Menu or flyer distribution is one of the most popular promotional tactics for restaurants for one simple reason – it works. Distributing menus with promotional offers allows you to target customers living in your local area, people who are most likely to visit your restaurant repeatedly if they have a good experience. This is low cost marketing tactic that can produce big results. Target a specific geographical areas and use limited time offers to get people to act quickly. The key to effective menu or flyer distribution is to focus on specials and deals that will be compelling to new customers. United Reprographics offers affordable ways to print flyers and menus. Visit our online print shop for an instant quote.
Using multiple promotional channels to market your restaurant will allow you to reach the widest possible audience. The key to success with marketing your restaurant is to worker smarter not harder. Make the most of every opportunity to attract new customers and to keep bringing back your existing patrons.